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Team Sunderland Partner with Children's Charity Grace House

06 April 2016

Team Sunderland start the year with a new partnership with local children's charity Grace House. Working alongside the University of Sunderland's Institute of Sport, Team Sunderland will use their increasing prominence in the city to raise awareness of the work of Grace House and link together to support fundraising initiatives.

The project means that Grace House, which provides specialist care, facilities, and programs to young people across the North East with complex physical disabilities, health needs, and life limiting conditions, will work with Team Sunderland’s coaches and volunteers to deliver new sporting opportunities to its children.

The initiative will see the charity being featured at Team Sunderland’s Urban Athlete road shows across the City as the multi-sport outfit is to organise a number of fundraising campaigns.

Matt Dossett, Sports Development Manager at the University said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the amazing work of Grace House and we hope that together we can make a difference for the children.

“Providing youth sports opportunities in the community has always been the core reason of why and how we do things in Team Sunderland and I think it’s important to take that a step further.

“This is why supporting Grace House in their work is so important to us, as we can extend our work to disabled children and show them that sport is accessible to them too.”

As a part of the collaboration, University of Sunderland’s coaches and volunteers will deliver regular physical activity sessions within Grace House centre, supported by appearances of Team Sunderland players.

Along with that, the University and Team Sunderland will also enter the Great North Run and Coast to Coast in support of Grace House, they will also organise their own fundraising event at Tesco Extra, Newcastle Road where shoppers will be invited to take part in the Urban Athletes challenge while the junior teams will be taking part in a bag pack.

Karen Parry, Chief Executive Officer at Grace House said: “I’m really passionate that disabled children and young people should have the same opportunities and access to sports. I really believe that if you can be creative in the way you do things, you can make anything accessible.

“So it’s really nice when you get a partnership with someone like Team Sunderland, who have got the same attitude and they’re already demonstrating that. It just seems like a really good match between us and the university.”

Along with the number of activities aimed at the children themselves, Team Sunderland will be looking to support their siblings and families by offering places at the multi-sport outfit’s school holiday camps.

Parry said: “This project is very exciting for us and I just think that being able to bring in new ideas, maybe new equipment that we potentially haven’t got, and having the coaches come in– it will just open new doors for us.”

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